GovtNeither the business by it self or the government on its own can tackle climate change issues. Both need to set their priorities very clear in context of climate change and then act upon them. As Interface Carpet’s blog title suggests, we need to “Cut the fluff” and get to some actionable steps. Here are some expectations, when aligned will make some major impacts at policy and business level.

From Corporate Sector: There is an increasing need for the corporate sector to step-up to the sustainability challenge.

  • Companies need to formalize and integrate sustainability framework into the Risk Management systems and into their business strategies.
  • Businesses will get more done if there are more cross-sector partnerships with a view of greening the supply chains.
  • Businesses also need to market the entire value chain as sustainable instead of just the end-product as green, recyclable or efficient.
  • Since very few companies are working on sustainability initiatives in a structured manner, the perspective that there is not enough associated ROI needs to be changed by sharing best practices from companies that have gained from sustainability measures.
  • Businesses must look at the resource-efficient strategies in every aspect of their operations
  • Businesses need to look at poor as “asset creators”- poor are not only the BOP market for the companies but are also partners or co-creators out which products can come out for others to consume
  • Business needs to be responsible for its advertising – Pavan Sukhdev, the author of Corporation 2020 (book review here) and the lead author of the TEEB study states this categorically.

From Governments: Many feel that governments role is diminishing – not really, it is changing.

  • Governments must lay down long-term standards and goals for the corporate sector to follow.
  • Incentivize proper corporate behaviour
  • The emission targets must not be clubbed together – they must be clearly segregated and budgeted into each of the different sectors and different industries.
  • Governments must also look at some form of ”Open Government Partnership” model to facilitate better analysis of the energy sector along with a global governance system to act in response to climate change.
  • Governments must keep the people at the centre of the debate and the rising inequality while devising the right enablers – right policies, right framework, driving investments and providing incentives.
  • Government must also make it clear to the people that the leadership for green growth may or may not come from the centre, the real action has to be driven by the state level governments.
  • Governments must also understand that just the business case of sustainability will not save the word – it has to go beyond that.
  • Since most of India’s and China’s building stock of 2030 is yet to be constructed, there’s this massive opportunity for governments for more resource efficient techniques.

What do you think are the other roles that businesses and governments can play in the climate change scenario?

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